Complex First Degree Murder

Crimes that involve taking another person’s life – regardless of whether the crime is called murder, homicide, manslaughter, or vehicular manslaughter – are the most serious crimes that our Florida criminal defense lawyers handle.

A person who kills someone by committing an act that he knows will cause death or serious bodily harm or is committing a forcible felony is guilty of First Degree Murder under Florida law. Even if a person does not intend to kill, the action will be deemed murder if it results in death be deemed murder. However, if the defense can establish that the person acted under a sudden and intense passion or had the unreasonable belief that he was acting in self defense, that changes the offense to Second Degree Murder.

If a person is charged with First Degree Murder in Florida, prosecutors may seek the death penalty if certain factors exist. If they do not seek it, the sentencing can range from 20 years to life. The use of a firearm adds 25 years to the minimum sentence, with the requirement that every day of the sentence be served. A conviction for Second Degree Murder is a Class 1 felony with a sentencing range of 4 to 15 years, with time off for good behavior.

We handle a wide array of homicide crimes, including Manslaughter, Voluntary Manslaughter, Drunk Driving Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, Vehicular Manslaughter, First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder, and Capital Murder Crimes.

Obviously a good attorney will seek a not guilty verdict whenever possible. Nevertheless, in some cases it is wise to make a Second Degree conviction the goal. To know what strategy best fits the situation of you or your loved one, call Tom O’Connell today to schedule an office consultation.